Human Rights Commission urges security agencies to find ‘missing’ Journalist by all means

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Human Rights Commission urges security agencies to find ‘missing’ Journalist by all means

The National Human Rights Commission, has urged the Police and other security agencies in the nation’s capital to do everything within their powers to locate a missing journalist. Tordue Salem.

Periscope International reports that Salem, a Vanguard Newspaper’s House of Representatives Reporter and official of the Middle Belt Journalists Forum (MBJF) reportedly went missing on Oct. 13 in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

Mr Tony Ojukwu, NHRC Executive Secretary, who made the plea in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday and signed by Mrs Fatimah Mohammed, Deputy Director, Public Affairs in the Commission, expressed sadness over the news of the National Assembly Correspondent who has been missing for 16 days now .

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”There is no place for enforced disappearance in modern history”, he said, describing the act as one of the worst human rights violations which leave the victims, family members and the society traumatized.

”It is needless for the family members of the journalist to go searching for him in hospital mortuaries and police stations if the security situation and intelligence gathering was better.

”NHRC stands for press freedom and will continue to advocate for same. A free press is important because people are able to express themselves in a constructive manner such that the views and concerns of ordinary people are also heard,” Ojukwu said.

He added that  journalists serve as the watchdogs of any society and should be allowed to do their work without harassment and intimidation.

Ojukwu further said that the role of a journalist is crucial in a democratic society and described Salem as a journalist who has passion for his work.

“He has painstakingly reported human rights issues as well as educated the masses on their rights since his days with the leadership newspaper.

”Enforced disappearance is one of the hazards associated with the practice of journalism in Nigeria,” Ojukwu added.

The NHRC Executive Secretary therefore called on the authorities to respect the rights of journalists and also urged the journalists to always work within the ambit of the law and ethics of the profession.

He assured the family members of the Commission’s support to ensure that Tordue Salem is found and reunited with them.

Salem’s colleagues of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Federal Capital Territory Abuja on Monday staged a peaceful protest over the disappearance of the journalist and demanded explanations from security operatives about his whereabouts.

FCT Commissioner of Police, Babaji Sunday, had given assurance that officers were looking for the journalist and said the case was reported at the National Assembly Police Station, adding that he had directed the immediate transmission to all Areas and Divisions.

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